Book Reviews

Flight of Destiny by Francis H. Powell

Reviewed by Anthony Jones

Flight of DestinyFlight of Destiny is a great collection of quick reads that will linger with you after you’ve read them.

Powell has mastered his craft and, more importantly, clearly acquires his material from an authentic place. I’m a huge fan of surreal/disturbing/magical realist stories and am always on the lookout for authors who work in that genre. I find it frustrating, however, that the majority of them usually “fake it.” It’s usually pretty obvious that they’re engaged in a race to the bottom in a mad scramble for the oddest or most disturbing ideas they can come up with. The ethic of weird = interesting ironically results in nothing weird at all. Instead, it usually amounts to little more than sophomoric stories with no arc and no emotional engagement.

Not so with Powell. His stories are genuinely unnerving and very original. He doesn’t just throw weird random ideas out there and let them knock into other weird ideas until a story just loses steam and finishes but truly fleshes out coherent and logical stories.

He has a powerful, almost mischievous sense of hide and seek. He knows exactly what he wants the reader to know and what he wants to keep the reader guessing and/or speculating about.

Powell uses a rich seductive language. His sentences are long and often packed with metaphors but Powell pulls it off because his writing brims with enthusiasm. He never resorts to hyperbole or needlessly elevated language so there’s no pretension.

These stories are good fun for any fans of Kafka, Bruno Schulz etc.

Reviewer Anthony Jones 

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